Thunderbolt 4 Support on AMD vs Intel 13th Gen

Hello! Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere; I’ve searched the forum but couldn’t find anything concrete.

I’m currently shopping for a new laptop, as my current one is about 6 years old, has already been upgraded, and is still showing its age — it’s nearly time for her to retire, I think :frowning:

I’m aware that AMD mainboards can’t be thunderbolt certified, but that Thunderbolt 4 is (put very simply) USB-4 with nearly all the optional specs included. I’d imagine Framework will work hard to make sure interoperability with Thunderbolt 4-certified devices is nearly flawless. However, I saw a couple of comments on various forum posts mentioning that the AMD Framework would not have all four expansion ports wired for USB-4. Is that correct? If so, which ports will be designed for which USB specs?

Also, how might this differ from the Intel 13th gen mainboards? Will they have four Thunderbolt 4 ports, or will there be a breakdown similar to the supposed AMD mainboard?

The 13th gen have the full 4 TB4 ports as usual, but the Ryzen 7040 boards have 2 USB4s that should be fully featured for the ports on either side near the hinge, then the front two are USB3.2, with the one next to the heaphone jack having DP alt mode. Believe this is detailed somewhere on the AMDs boards’ product page.


What Nich said is exactly correct. I will note that this is because of limitations of the AMD CPUs themselves and not Framework.



I believe that’s the responsibility of the IOD by AMD, not on Framework’s plate.

What’s on Framework’s plate regarding this is things like ensuring the implementation of power (voltage, current, power states) and signal integrity (e.g. shielding) remain in-spec.

I had read this before and it left me with a doubt.

It sais it has a total of 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes. Is that on top of the advertised USB connections, or the USB connections use PCIe lines from those 20?

Also, ECC. I hope framework implements ECC memory.

20 are usable regardless of USB connections.

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Per this block diagram

Of the total 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, one lane will be used for WiFi, and four lanes will be used for the PCIe 4.0 x4 m.2 slot.

The remaining 15 lanes will supposedly go unused on the Framework Laptop 13.

That is a shame and I guess something similar is happening with the Intel motherboards.

I wish they could create the traces and have the possibility of accessing them with some soldering so we could do some “crazy” mods, like somehow getting Oculink in the 13", since the chipset has the capacity.


Definitely not soldering PCIe fly leads.

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for those looking for the link to the info:

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Presumably the same thing on Intel.

Here is for the i7-1280P:

and for i7-1370P:

But having an AMD CPU + AMD GPU might make some things better. Maybe a better reBAR support? Because reBAR is apparently still not working on Windows (as per ReBAR Support - #48 by Jean-Marc_Le_Roux) but it works on Linux…

Isn’t the whole point of TB to do PCIE Gen3 4x transport?

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I feel that some info isn’t always clear for everyone.
The 2 USB4 connections can talk 4x PCIe3 lanes each, no extra PCIe lanes used on the CPU.

The AMD has this wired PCIe utilisation:

  • 8 lanes to iGPU
  • 1 lane to WLAN
  • 1 unused for GbE
  • 2 unused for Sata controllers (or mapped to SSD socket)
  • 4 lanes for SSD
  • 4 unused for second SSD
    That makes 20 PCIe lanes

It might be possible to have a 2nd NVME slot, but I doubt there is much room for it.

Are there AMD systems with TB4? Yes, but that requires an extra physical chipset on the board and extra certification (with it’s extra costs).